No. 24

Once and Future Houseboy

D.A. Powell

Might have stranded you there
in the pumpkin dotted tillage of Wheatland or
the strawberry patch with your bum self sucking
every last drag off the cigarette you wore
like a piece of tacky jewelry piercing your upper lip.

But you are my little liebschen.
Refined as a packet of sugar I dump
into 8 ounces of coffee.  I like it when you’re sweet
enough to peel the gums away from my teeth.
I like when we’re in misery together, accustomed
as we are to the sad café.  Zip open that pouch of crystal.
Let the cloying begin, my fine friend.

Do houseboys have houseflies?  Something spews
white maggots still warm on the chaise, some
lone peacock preens in the sideyard, shakes
its feathers loose all over the portico roof.
I’m not pointing fingers.  I know what happens:
you’re feeling blasé; you go to the convenience store.
Six days later, you’re disentangling from Reno,
pawning the only portable device you have
(which might just be your booty) and hoping
the locks weren’t changed while you were away.

I should be glad to be rid of such a profligate.
But you’re my evening lark.  Up ahead, I am lost:
Clouds smutching the drouthy stalks of corn.
My rake, unreliable as you are.  Care for me awhile.

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